Play Store blocks users in Russia from purchasing or updating paid apps

Google is blocking users in Russia from purchasing or updating paid applications as the fallout continues from the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The company paused billing for Russian users on 10 March 2022 due to sanctions imposed on the country. That decision impacted new app purchases, as well as in-app purchases and subscription payments.

However, Google has now updated its policy and says that it is “blocking the downloading of paid apps and updates to paid...

Google’s new Play Store section forces developers to explain their data collection

Google is rolling out a new section in Play Store listings that forces developers to explain what data they’re collecting and how it’s being used.

The new section is titled ‘Data safety’ and will appear alongside the usual sections like ‘About this app’ and ‘Ratings and reviews’:

Apple released a similar feature as part of numerous privacy-enhancing features in last year’s iOS 14. Google showed off its version last year but is only beginning to roll...

Google will hide outdated Android apps to improve security

Google will start hiding outdated apps on the Play Store in a bid to improve security.

With almost three million apps hosted on the Play Store, keeping Android’s three billion users protected is a gargantuan task.

Given the scale of the challenge, Google’s AI-powered security does an admirable job. However, Google’s system is far from perfect and software that poses a threat to users does slip through.

Sometimes the apps that slip past Google’s security...

CAF report highlights developers’ plight from anti-competitive practices

A report from the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) highlights the difficulties that developers face due to anti-competitive practices.

CAF is an independent nonprofit with over 60 member companies that advocates for freedom of choice and fair competition across the app ecosystem. Epic Games, which has regularly made headlines for its court battles against Apple over alleged anti-competitive practices, is one of CAF’s founding members.

The industry group is currently...

Google slashes its Play Store cut for more developers

Google has announced that it’s following the industry trend and slashing its cut of Play Store sales for more developers.

The previous 70/30 cut was once the industry standard for app stores but has faced increasing backlash over the years from both developers and regulators. Critics have long argued that the stores have abused their market position to take an unfair cut.

Epic Games was the first major player to disrupt the model with the launch of the Epic Store,...

Google announces raft of Play Store security policy updates

Google has announced a number of changes to its Play Store security policies that will come into effect over the coming year.

Starting in September, a new section will be added to Google’s Enforcement policy that will mean inactive or otherwise abandoned developer accounts will be closed after one year of dormancy.

October will see various policies introduced on different dates.

On 15 October, the Device and Network Abuse policy will be clarified to prohibit...

Apple and Google ‘hold data hostage’ with their platform rules, Senate told

During a hearing, US senators were told Apple and Google “hold data hostage” with their platform rules.

The two largest mobile platform-holders are under scrutiny from the Senate anti-trust committee and smaller companies such as Spotify, Tile, and Tinder-owner Match have been airing their grievances.

Kirsten Daru, Tile's General Counsel, said: "We welcome competition but it has to be fair competition and Apple's idea of competing is patently...

Play Store’s AI security blocks almost one million policy-violating apps

Google’s AI-powered Play Store security has blocked almost one million policy-violating apps from reaching users.

In a blog post, Google detailed what it’s been doing to protect the billions of Android users and millions of developers creating apps for the world’s largest mobile platform.

2020 was a year when many of us made sacrifices to our freedoms to protect not just ourselves, but those around us. Unfortunately, criminals sought to take advantage of more...

Bill enabling developers to avoid in-app purchase rules is ditched

A bill in Arizona that would have enabled developers to avoid the in-app purchase (IAP) rules set by app stores has been ditched.

Many developers have argued for some time that Apple and Google have abused their market dominance to set unfair rules. State bill HB2005 would have forced Apple and Google to allow developers to use their own payment solutions within apps.

The bill was scrapped after intense lobbying. 

According to State Representative Regina...